Keep Track of Characteristic Relationships within SEM-BPS

  • by Keith Howard, Managing Consultant, SEM, SAP UK
  • February 1, 2004
During the planning stages of a product, it is essential to consider changes in relationships among the product group, division, business unit, and profit center. The author demonstrates how to account for these variations using the characteristic relationship functionality of SEM-BPS. He focuses on the configuration of BW hierarchies, BW attributes, reference data, and user exits.


When planning, you need to take into account numerous and sometimes complex relationships among different objects within an organization. For example, in most companies it is not sufficient to simply plan against a product in isolation. You also need to see that plan aggregated through the product group, division, business unit, profit center, and so on. Since it is through such relationships that you make sense of the figures, it makes sense that you also deny users the ability to plan the product against the incorrect product group, division, and so on. These relationships change, and this is something else that you need to take into account within a planning system with the minimum of effort.

The necessity to take into account these functional requirements surrounding such relationships is handled within Strategic Enterprise Management-Business Planning and Simulation (SEM-BPS) through the characteristic relationship functionality, which allows you to propose, check, and derive characteristic values (e.g., which product belongs to which product line) based on relationships encompassed in

  • BW hierarchies
  • BW attributes
  • Reference data
  • User exits

Keith Howard

Keith Howard is an SAP consultant with eight years of experience with SAP, in particular with the mySAP Financials and mySAP Business Intelligence solutions. He has worked with the SAP SEM system since its first release in 1999, and he is recognized globally as one of the foremost experts in this area. As well as consulting extensively on SEM, he also wrote and teaches the SAP SEM Academy, the benchmark by which all SEM consultants are measured worldwide. Most recently, Keith has been active in building SEM BPS and SEM-SM/PM prototypes for customers as well as advising on implementation strategies.

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